But after the game many fans were sobbing while others looked to the future with confidence after their once improbable dreams of a first World Cup final in more than 50 years were dashed by Croatia.
France and Croatia will face off in the World Cup final on Monday morning after the two European teams made it through in a tournament full of upsets.
Against England, they became the first team in World Cup history to win a semifinal without the benefit of spot kicks in a game they initially trailed.
After Gareth Southgate's Three Lions take on Roberto Martinez's Belgium in a third-place fixture on Saturday, Le Bleus and "Vatreni" will close the curtains at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday after which one will be crowned the champions.
World Cup final: "For a country like Croatia, it's something historic to be in the final of a World Cup".
Powell fully expected England to get knocked out at the quarter-final stage, but instead they're just two wins away from achieving the feat.
While Croatia fans began celebrating into the night in wild scenes of fireworks and frivolity in capital city Zagreb, their England counterparts walked home leaving a deserted mess of empty bottles and unwanted flags. They did an bad lot better than I ever did, or we ever did'. Paul Merson gives his prediction and picks his key player.
'Keep doing it and I hope this World Cup brings you unforgettable personal memories.
"The team and the individuals will be better in a couple of years time".
"Semi-finals, they've done what they had to do, they took us to the semi-finals".
Plenkovic, who returned from Moscow where he attended the semi-final, congratulated the squad on a "fascinating success for Croatian sports and football". He said the players were "absolutely gutted" but the fans' reaction in the stadium after the game showed what they had achieved.
"England we're proud of you, that's all I've got to say". And I know we will.
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They deserve a lot of credit for what they have achieved because reaching the semi final is very, very hard . He is happy for me. "If I'd moved sooner maybe I wouldn't have been happy, I don't know".